It’s easy to focus on the bad of 2020 because, let’s face it—so many things went wrong in 2020, from a global pandemic to the worldwide economic crisis. Successes happened, too, though, thanks to grants and people who care about their community.
With the help of generous donors and government relief funds, we helped people in Wasatch, Summit, and Utah counties pay their rent, put food on the table, and work their way toward a more stable financial future. Here are some of the numbers from 2020.
Rent and Financial Assistance
Community Action Services and Food Bank offers emergency help for a variety of bills, including rent. This year, though, the agency had a portion of a $4 million statewide grant to assist people who couldn’t pay their rent because of COVID-19. That money helped people pay their mortgage payments, rent, and utility bills.
In all, we helped people make 938 housing payments.
Though COVID prevented many in-person meetings, we still were able to offer financial coaching and counseling to 130 people through our Financial Learning Center. Also, 118 people completed our homebuyer pre-purchase counseling program. Here are some more successes:
- 163 households completed the Homebuyer Education (HBE) Class
- 46 households who, after attending the HBE Class, purchased a home
- 84 households received one-on-one pre-purchase counseling
- Counselors helped 241 households create a sustainable budget
- An average of 5 of people visit the Financial Learning Center every day.
Early in the year, COVID changed how we distribute food to people in need. Instead of acting like a grocery store, we started putting together food boxes for clients. In all, we served 6,914 households with pre-made food boxes in 2020. Here are more numbers for last year:
- 3,320,323 pounds of food donated
- 3,224,827 pounds of food distributed
- 1,364,143 pounds of food donated through the grocery rescue program
- 28,362 Kid Paks donated to children in need
- 52,304 pounds of food donated to seniors.
One of the brightest spots of 2020 was our Circles program. Participants continued working their way through the years-long program, and new people joined.
Meili, one of our participants, paid off all her debt, which she’d been slowly working to pay off since she started the program.
In addition to Meili’s good news, in 2020:
- Two families graduated from Circles.
- Thirteen new families joined the program.
- Three families made improvements to their homes, creating a safer, more secure living environment.
- One Circle Leader joined the Circles Staff, advancing her career by making social media content.
- Thirty-nine percent increased their income.
- Seventy-one percent increased their assets.
- Thirty-nine percent decreased their debt.
- Thirty-nine percent decreased their need for assistance.
- Fifty-four percent are not on public assistance.
Last year was bleak for everyone, but thanks to generous donors, we continued our mission of helping people in need as well as supporting people in our Circles program who are working their way out of poverty. For more information about our programs, click here.